Victim of Stellenbosch University urine incident lays criminal charges
By Chulumanco Mahamba | IOL News |
There has been national outrage in South Africa against a white Stellenbosch University (SU) student, who has been suspended, after he allegedly broke into a black student’s room at a campus residence and urinated on his property.
The incident allegedly occurred at the Huis Marais university residence on Sunday morning (May 15), The victim who was sleeping heard a noise at around 4am. He awoke and saw that the white student was urinating on his desk, books and laptop. When he was allegedly asked why he was doing this by the victim, he allegedly said it is what they do to black boys.
SU senior director: student affairs Dr Choice Makhetha said that the affected student was still in shock after his very upsetting and painful ordeal.
“He is still trying to process what happened and was offered counselling. He will be supported as and when required to ensure his academic progress is not affected by the incident,” Makhetha said.
The university confirmed that the alleged perpetrator was suspended yesterday (Mon).
“A further swift but detailed investigation will determine the final outcomes. Expulsion and/or criminal charges are not excluded from the possible available options based on the investigation’s findings,” SU spokesperson Martin Viljoen said.
The university strongly condemned the destructive, hurtful and racist incident and said th the Huis Marais residence management was made aware of the incident on Sunday, and that they immediately reported it to the relevant university structures for urgent investigation.
“We are appalled by this type of behaviour. Such conduct will not be tolerated at the university. We acted swiftly and decisively to uphold our commitment to a culture inclusivity.
“What happened at Huis Marais is not acceptable. No student has the right to diminish another student’s human dignity or rights in this way,” said Professor Wim de Villiers, vice chancellor of the university.
Makhetha added that the residence called a house meeting to ensure that the whole house understood the situation and what needs to continue to change to prevent a repeat of any similar action.
There was a second video making the rounds on social media from an emergency house meeting in the morning. “I just want to apologise to him and to everyone in general for my behaviour. I know that it was wrong and I just want to apologise. Sorry guys,” the implicated student said.
The EFF Student Command said the university has been well-known to be “anti-black” for decades.
“The reason why the perpetrator found it necessary to violate another student’s space is because he knows that his actions are supported by management. If anything, the anti-black members of staff and senate of the university will find it unnecessary to punish this racist student,” the organisation said.
The student command added it can no longer tip toe around an institution that prides itself as the capital of racism in higher learning.
The SA Students Congress (Sasco) at Stellenbosch University condemned the incident with the highest contempt for the racist actions of the “racist hooligan” who attacked the black student.
“The racist hooligan violated his dignity thus violating his constitutional right as a citizen of South Africa but also his rights as a Stellenbosch University student. The student constitution is clear that every student has an inherent right to human dignity and a right to have their rights respected and protected,” Sasco said.
The student organisation added that anything short of expulsion and potential criminal charges would be regarded as injustice.
In 2008, a video that showed white students humiliating and abusing elderly black staff at the University of the Free State’s Reitz hostel sparked a criminal investigation, prompted a human rights complaint and resulted in widespread protests and condemnation.